Most Common Mistakes Selling on Amazon
Selling on Amazon has proven to be an excellent opportunity that most people strive to get.
Being a global marketplace with over 6.2 billion sellers, the platform has made some people leave their eight-to-five jobs and create their best-selling niches.
These online niches allow them to earn more money while relaxing at home. However, as much as this sounds like a great income-generating deal, it also comes with some limitations that new sellers must know.
For example, Amazon believes in ethical operations and requires everyone operating on its platform to remain professional.
It also updates its terms of service frequently to fit the market trends. That means all sellers should be up to date with rules to avoid landing in problems.
Therefore, for sellers to remain successful and secure their accounts, they need to look out for the following eight mistakes and avoid them in the first place.
Indeed, these costly, time-consuming, and hugely expensive mistakes for Amazon sellers are best dealt with right in the beginning, thereby keeping the learning curve shorter.
Explanation of Costly Errors and Understanding 8 Top Expensive Mistakes
1. Poor Amazon Listing Optimization
Just like a physical store where sellers need to list their products to simplify accessibility, Amazon sellers also need to optimize their listing to attract more traffic.
However, most new sellers fail on this part, leading to devastating effects on products’ conversion rates.
As a rule of thumb, buyers need to see immediately if the products fit their needs, instead of wasting time going through the description.
For this reason, sellers need to focus on listing performance and product relevance when optimizing their inventory list.
When optimizing listing, sellers need to focus on competitive product pricing, positive customer reviews, as well as high-quality and interactive images and videos.
When it comes to product relevance, sellers should focus on critical keywords as they allow product listing to reach the intended audience.
These keywords should be embedded in the product title, description, image, and bullet points.
2. Lack of Enough Inventory
Running out of inventory as an Amazon seller can lead to loss of buyer’s trust and account suspension.
For instance, Amazon requires all sellers to provide accurate information about their inventory.
It is against Amazon’s terms of service to oversell or provide false information about the presence of the inventory.
As a result, sellers misleading shoppers can lose their accounts completely or suffer a collapse in ranking.
Sellers can avoid running out of stock by tracking their Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score frequently. New and experienced sellers should also keep track of their products through BSR. To get more information on BSR, read our full guide called Amazon Best Sellers Rank: Everything You Need to Know.
In this case, they can use advanced inventory management software that allows them to stock the right amount of inventory at all times.
They can also have two inventory fulfillment strategies for their products.
One is for Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) and the other one is for Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM).
3. Providing Misleading Product Information
Similar to the lack of enough inventory, Amazon does not also allow its sellers to provide misleading product information.
Although this huge e-commerce has millions of sellers globally, it fights to ensure buyers only get high-quality and safe products through regional or state restrictions.
These restrictions help to keep off suspicious sellers who want to exploit the huge market.
When listing their products, sellers need to provide accurate information and true promises.
That means they should avoid making false claims about the product such as health benefits, functionality, and contents.
They should also provide detailed descriptions to allow buyers to easily get what they want. The description should include price, ingredients, how to use the product, accessories, storage tips, and many more.
Failure to do so will see buyers going for other competitive sellers.
4. Paying for Positive Reviews
While it is right for sellers to ask for product reviews for their products, Amazon believes that it is up to shoppers to leave positive or negative feedback without an external influence.
Any seller found paying incentives for giveaways to buyers for reviews faces strict actions such as account suspension and gating.
That is because Amazon wants all product reviews to be organic, honest, and authentic. It also penalizes any seller who creates misleading feedback on products.
To avoid high fines that come with false reviews, sellers can use Amazon Early Reviewer Program which allows them to get early product reviews.
They can also use the available positive suggestions to improve their products and win more positive feedback in the future.
5. Using Colored Backgrounds on Main Product Images
Amazon’s image policy states that main images should have plain or white backgrounds. This is mainly to enhance user experience and avoid buyers’ confusion during product selection. For this reason, Amazon requires all sellers to review image policies before they start listing their products on the platform.
Some of the image requirements include:
- Avoid using multiple colors on the main product image even when they are sold separately.
- Avoid using line drawings and artistic representations such as cartoons on image backgrounds.
- Not using animated images.
Instead, sellers only need to use plain or white backgrounds on all their main product images. Yes, they can use colored backgrounds or artistic representations, but only for additional images.
They should also avoid including product promotional information on images as this might lead to a violation.
Moreover, the main image should be more than 1000 pixels in height for easy zooming.
6. Making False Health Claims
Those selling in grocery and gourmet food and drug categories face the strictest rules from regulatory bodies such as Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
These bodies require sellers to account for the quality of their products and ensure their products have the highest standards.
However, in the quest to fit in the competitive market, some sellers make false health claims about their products, which goes against Amazon’s code of conduct.
To avoid making such detrimental mistakes, sellers are advised to be keen with what they state about their products.
For instance, they should avoid using terms such as treat or cure. Instead, they can use terms like reduce symptoms and help to alleviate related conditions.
In case they want to make a medical claim, they should back up their statements with relevant scientific research.
7. Lack of Keyword Optimization
The lack of relevant keywords s another killer mistake that makes some products not be seen in search results.
Since Amazon acts like a search engine, it uses search questions posted by buyers to determine products with the highest demand.
That means sellers who do not optimize their keywords and questions end up with low traffic and sales.
Therefore, sellers need to optimize their product listing with relevant keywords to allow Amazon to promote them on Amazon SERP.
Sellers can also utilize vital keyword tools such as SellerSonar which allows them to track what their competitors use and remain relevant in the market.
Some of these keyword optimizers are free but can lead to increased traffic and sales if sellers use them appropriately.
8. Not Checking Seller Account Health
The last mistake that both new and Amazon FBA sellers make is to ignore their account performance.
Other sellers also use wrong metrics when analyzing their account health and overall market position.
For instance, while some sellers only focus on increasing their profit margin, they end up treating their customers coldly or providing misleading information.
Others fail to deliver products on the agreed timeframe, respond to customer questions or use poor packaging strategies.
These simple mistakes, if ignored, can lead to order cancellation and account suspension.
Therefore, sellers need to understand all the metrics involved in account health and add them to their selling journey.
Final Thoughts on Understanding Expensive Mistakes for New Amazon Sellers
For any seller to be successful on Amazon, they must undergo the roughest road that shapes them to be in line with Amazon rules.
These conditions include delivering what they promise, sticking to high-quality products, and adhering to Amazon’s Terms of Service (ToS).
Luckily, while sellers are likely to make hundreds of mistakes when building their brands on Amazon, there is always a chance to correct the mess and enjoy the ever-growing market.
That means all sellers should learn about the above expensive mistakes and find work-arounds to steer clear of them.